The President Vanishes

When a benevolently strong president arranges to have himself kidnapped in order to redirect public opinion away from alleged warmongering and fascist demagoguery, the Secretary of War takes over and declares martial law. The secret police are thus free to zap the bad guys (Gray shirts backed by munitions manufacturers and other corrupt industrialists). Intending, apparently, to make a vaguely liberal statement, producer Walter Wanger and director William Wellman instead came up with a strange, authoritarian nightmare in which the public is mystified and manipulated, for its own good of course, by knowing and protective rulers. The film takes the form of a taut, tough action-melodrama. Of special interest is the montage work of Slavko Vorkapich, and an early appearance by Rosalind Russell.

This page may by only partially complete. For additional information about this film, view the original entry on our archived site.